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The Waggon Train at Hougoumont :

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The Waggon Train at Hougoumont :

Postby Iain » June 4th, 2016, 6:11 am

Hi All... I have a question !

I was watching a video recently in relation Waterloo Uncovered where someone was talking about the sunken lane being used as a Hougoumont supply route by the Waggon Train.

From what I’ve seen so far concerning sunken lanes throughout Belgium, their use was principally for getting live stock from A to B and also as farm perimeter lines. The condition of these lanes were/are notoriously deplorable and probably not fit for carriages of any sort. (pot holes and one thing and another..., especially in bad weather)
What’s more, when we take into consideration that to get access to the sunken lane via the ridge, the WT carts would have exposed themselves to skirmishers.

We also hear about authors talking about the heroic drivers hurtling along the ‘road’ before entering the northern gate. Now..., if the WT carts were using the sunken lane, virtually no speed would have been needed. And because of the conditions, speed would probably have been impossible !
On the other hand, if they had taken the Chemin du Goumont on the left of the image, then the road surface there would permit speed and they’d also need to drive fast to avoid Piré and Jérôme’s artillery.

My question: Is there any documented proof of which route they would have taken ?
If there is no documented proof, is my above theory viable ?
Chemin du Goumont or the sunken lane ?

Thanks in advance. Kind Regards..., Iain.
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Re: The Waggon Train at Hougoumont :

Postby Waggoner » June 4th, 2016, 6:58 pm

Here is an artist's conception of Pte. Brewster, RWT, performing his historic resupply mission. Which route would this vehicle be best suited for?

All the best,

Gary
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Re: The Waggon Train at Hougoumont :

Postby Josh&Historyland » June 4th, 2016, 7:43 pm

Practically any I think, in one instance it would have turned in and in another it would have gone straight. Afraid I'm no help as to sources though, I must admit I rather assumed the RWT used the Goumont road, rather than the sunken lane.

Josh.
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Re: The Waggon Train at Hougoumont :

Postby Andrew » June 4th, 2016, 9:45 pm

I doubt it was the sunken lane as it does not seem to run in the right direction. Looking at the Ferraris map (http://belgica.kbr.be/nl/coll/cp/cpFerr ... te_nl.html) the obvious route seems to be down the Nivelles road and then left down to Hougoumont, as this runs from the allied rear area without exposing them on the chemin de Goumont.

Andrew
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Re: The Waggon Train at Hougoumont :

Postby Iain » June 5th, 2016, 7:33 am

Thank you All..., and I’m inclined to agree.

The supplies were obviously well to the north and to zigzag the Hougoumont-bound cartloads of ammunition through an entire army of bivouacs then over a ridge exposed to skirmishers to finish up on a potholed lane seems pretty illogical.
On the other hand, using the Chaussee de Nivelles (the now autoroute) where the supplies for the battle depot would have come from Bruxelles via Mont St. Jean..., they would have simply stopped on that road. (and not venturing onto soggy, churned-up land to get bogged down)
Also, with the road being on Wellington’s right flank and also being the direction he intended to use in case of a defeat, the depot would have been in an advanced position to follow the retreating army.

In fact..., there’s more to this question than meets the eye. Until the publication of John’s book, I’m still not totally convinced that Matthew Clay didn’t spend the night in the sunken lane. (with everyone talking about him starving in an orchard.., sour perhaps but nonetheless edible)
As such, with the RWT now out of the way, at least I have some room for them all.
Lol..., in a future post I’ll probably contradict myself here !
(viewtopic.php?f=43&t=3205 )

PS I know absolutely nothing about the RWT..., nonetheless, it seems only logical that laden mules would have been used to supply ammunition to the troops along the ridge, the sunken lane and to all those in the orchard and southern wood.

Thank you everyone.
Kind Regards..., Iain.
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